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Sunday, 26 June 2016


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I get it, they're proud. But putting "Handmade in Sweden" right on the top plate looks a bit tacky to me.

Elements of the Swiss Watch making community were at one point (and I suppose still are) pushing right up against the legal definitions of "Swiss Watch" in terms of how much work actually had to be done in Switzerland.

I assume that H is playing the same game, and fabricating and assembling in cheaper locations (i.e. absolutely anywhere) than Sweden, and performing some sort of final assembly in Sweden.

Or at any rate they will be, if they can get some volume going.

This isn't an indictment, it's just the reality of doing business on this planet. Per Oosting is not a dummy.

Whatever happened to Sunday off at TOP?

Should of had a square sensor, I would have bought it. Miss that on modern cameras with square crop mode.

[It's possible that it was expensive enough already. Making a square sensor just for one camera would probably have jacked the price up considerably, maybe even very considerably. --Mike]

The 'Handmade in Sweden' engraving testifies how much the Lunar and Stellar cameras harmed Hasselblad's reputation.

Call it what you will and be proud, but without a 6x6 square image it is not really a Hasselblad. It is trading in the name, tradition and history but giving us something less for the dollar.

Not having heard of Nittoh Kogaku I did a Google search and discovered they worked on lenses with Nikon in the 1940s, and later were subcontracted to make the Olympus Trip 35.

They own plants in Japan and Indonesia, so it's possible the lenses for the X1D may be manufactured in Indonesia rather than Japan. Their own lenses are branded Kominar.

To add to the Woo comment Sunday mornings are a good time for me to get TOPed up prior to a photo shoot day. The off topic posts were interesting but obviously not photo related. Going right after the "Photo topic of the week" and in fact the nuts and bolts of it made my Sunday morning...Thanks for the great Sunday morning photo post.

I'm waiting to see what Fuji will bring to market, possibly Pentax too.

Why would being "handmade" make a camera better? In manufacturing, the decision to automate a process is usually based on cost to achieve a defined level of quality.

Handmade implies low volume and/or cheap labor.

So the lenses and shutters are made in Japan, and the sensor and associated electronics are made in Japan, but the rest is hand made in Sweden?


"Honest to Odin"....alliterative, smart and smarty-pants. Love it, gonna steal it.

To reply to Bob Rosinsky, as to Pentax, I'd guess their only sensible option would be to release a mirrorless version of their current SLR, using the same lenses. I just think the company is too resource-constrained to allow development and manufacture of an additional lens line. The Pentax is already $2000 less than the Hassleblad. Removing the mechanics of a mirror, and all that entails would help reduce manufacture/warranty costs, and they could keep some of that savings in a higher margin and still sell for less than Hasselblad. IIRC, the Pentax is already delivering better image quality than the other cameras using the same sensor (though I could be recalling incorrectly, but I just think IQ is a solved problem except for extreme edge cases.)

Personally, I'm ambivalent about the Hassy, and the Pentax as well. They just aren't my cup of coffee. But they are interesting, that's for sure.


Thanks for crediting Sixten Sason for the Hasselblad design. Until you mentioned him, I did not know that the designer famous for Saab cars was Sweden's counterpart to the famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Sason also designed motorcycles, scooters, and vacuum cleaners for a variety of Swedish companies. Loewy also designed a camera, the Anscoflex II. I think it's safe to say that the Anscoflex didn't come close to a Hasselblad, but Loewy did do a good job of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear with that one!

Wait for the Sony Lunar version. :)

Nitton Kogaku is located in Suwa, Japan (not Sawa)

It is smallish city located on a lake shore just like the T.O.P HQ :-)

[Thanks. Fixed. --Mike]

It is interesting to see many apply the metrics of an analog imaging medium (Silver Halide) to a digital imaging medium (CMOS or CCD sensors). They are fundamentally different technologies that do the same thing: capture images.

Unlike film, it is really expensive to make a physically large silicon sensor. The yields (number of good sensors per silicon wafer) are low which means that you make a lot more defective sensors than good ones.

I recall in the early days of digital imaging it was believed that you needed to have a 20 megapixel sensor to produce the quality of a 35mm Kodachrome image. That wisdom seems to hold true and many photographers, including me, find sufficiency using equipment that offers a 16-24 megapixel capability.

Today, I am amazed at the quality of images that you can make with a 1 inch (13.2mm x 8.8mm) sensor. The Sony RX10 III is an outstanding image maker for still and video photography.

Micro Four Thirds equipment, both from Olympus and Panasonic, performs as well as medium format film (see Ctein). Additionally, the current offerings from Olympus provide a "High Resolution" mode that generates 64 megapixel images for those those seeking the ultimate detail in their images.

So, sensor size really does not really matter a whole lot.

If that's true, then I'm not sure what photographic problem this new handmade in Sweden Hasselblad is trying to solve. Current high end digital bodies offer 36-42 megapixel resolution (24mm x 36mm sensors) at one-third the cost of this three lens Hasselblad system.

I'll stick to my Fuji X-T1 system, 16 megapixels is more than sufficient for what I do and I love the images made with the Fujinon optics.

Kudos to Hasselblad for such bold and elegant commercial venture. How well will it sell? Perhaps some more of the break even point in my opinion. Pentax will come soon with a newer version of the 645Z, perhaps with a much bigger sensor to sell pretty close to X1D price. Fuji's mirrorless MF camera is heating up at the rumor stage. Again, Fuji will better Hasselblad specs at a better price. Of course, this is all imho.
On the other hand, for some reasons I am getting tired pretty soon of the X1D looks. I hope it to be better looking in person. The basic design is deceiving. It was made to resemble a classic 500 V camera. Me, as a seasoned V user, everytime I look at it makes me look for the square sensor (at a psychological level). Last, the X1D seems to be a mock up camera, at least in photos and not a real functioning piece of gear. I genuinely wish to congratulate HB for this camera but it is so hard to really do it. So close to be a game changer and to make history but I'm afraid it will only be the travel body of some "H" owners. As my grandmother used to say: Where did all men with the big balls go?

I wonder why they didn't go to Zeiss for their lenses this time. I've got Zeiss lenses on my Contax 645 and they are great. Maybe Hasselblad wanted to keep their prices down? Zeiss was too busy making other things?

Hasselblad supposedly has a square crop mode, which I'm guessing is about 38MP. It will be interesting to see if it has a good enough implementation to make the camera 'feel square'.
I would also hope for a global shutter so that over time, other lenses might be utilized to broaden it's appeal.
Both of Canon's superb 17 & 24mm T/S lenses would easily cover a 33mm square.
I really wish them well.


[Works too.

"The 'manor' version of the phrase is now far more popular in the language than the earlier one. Examples of its use make it clear that the distinction between 'manner' and 'manor' is now being lost. Given the closeness of the meaning of the two phrases, they have now become virtually interchangable." (Phrase Finder) --Mike]

Sensor size has one things in common with film formats - the subtlety of transitions. There's other real world advantages to a larger sensor, but there is an absolute difference in the larger sensors...now, weather or not it's a big enough or even desirable enough difference, another story. But very excited to see what a more mobile system may show - as of yet, this seems like it's almost filling the same roles to Hassy and Phase One owners as a Nikon 1, Fuji, or Sony RX-100 is to Full-Frame shooters.

I am happy to see it - I'll never buy it, but heartily glad to see a relevant Hasselblad. My SWC is as much Hassy as I need(I'm a reprobate that found Pentax 67s far more appealing that the 500 series), this critter could act much the same, in the realm of small and quick to action.

As a Saab driver for many years, I knew that Sixten Sason had designed not only the first Saab car (the model 92) c. 1948, but also the model 99, which after 10 years or so was turned into the 1979-94 Saab 900, which may be the Saab most familiar to ToP readers; indeed a modern classic. But as a Hasselblad V-series user for many years, I'd never learned that he'd designed that as well. I miss using those Hassys; thanks to ToP for enlightening me. Complex things designed by one person have definite personalities; the Rollei TLR comes to mind as well. Those things (like the Saab 900) are, somehow, more satisfying to use than a committee/computer designed appliance, despite their quirks. Here's hoping that the new Hasselblad works as well as a 500C/M!

Fixed screen on a medium format, especially now it's the well-accepted norm to offer waist-level shooting, means this camera began its design phase too long ago and that the designers never knew the original philosophy with Hasseblads and Rolleis in the first place. Shame.

To this Brit, 'To the Manor born' will always be a mildly amusing 80's sitcom. There again, I use a double space after a full stop, so who am I to lay down the law?

This camera would be perfect for 80% of my photography, including the photographs I care most about as photographs (as opposed to those, like family snaps, which are a form of memory and record keeping). However, the price means that it would have to take care of everything, and the current lack of real info means it remains to be seen how well it copes with the remaining 20%.

Hasselblad have said that they want to recapture the quality amateur market. If this camera works well with older lenses (or with manual macro and copy work equipment), it would give people like me who have kept their old MF gear an instant system. If not, the entry cost makes it a single-use specialist for many, including me.

Not many Anscoflex II, a superb design, and not many Studebakers either, are in use today. Other things designed by Loewy are in almost daily use, at least in our kitchen. Rectangular pans are much more practical than round ones, at least for asparagus and fish.


A simple "Made in Sweden" would have been so much more classy.

I'm surprised they didn't decide on "Artisanally Handmade in Sweden."

Crass people.

...and there are a lot of old 'pros' that will tell you those Ektar lenses for the Hasselblad were pretty fabulous, and in some cases, actually better than the Zeiss glass that took over. I seem to recall even reading that the 80mm Ektar was superior to the Zeiss offering (as sharp in the center, and sharper in the corners than the Zeiss)...

Having recently started using a full frame camera after many years of shooting with 4/3 sensors, one of the biggest challenges for me is getting shots with nice front to back sharpness (high depth of field). It's easy to take for granted just how simple it is to use the smaller sensor cameras. I imagine it's even more challenging with this camera and others like it, at least until they have some kind of automatic focus stacking option. Still, I'd love to play with it, and the touchscreen interface looks well designed. I hope they succeed with it.

What I find most interesting is how Hasselblad opted for a minimalist user interface, with only a single dial and six buttons, including the shutter and on/off buttons. Everything else is apparently accessed via touchscreen menus. Contrast this with something like the Nikon Df, which is bristling with buttons, dials, and switches. How ironic would it be for a $9,000 camera for pros to be faster and easier to use than a $2750 camera for enthusiasts?

I read the lens manufacturer, Nittoh, is based in Suwa, Japan and is close to where the Olympus plant is located in Tatsuno. Evidently this area has a significant history of lens and camera manufacturing. Here is a promotional video Nittoh produced recently:


Is this the case as with other brands where you find that the "made in" is in reality, assemblied 10% in that country?

It did surprise me how this "made in" is used in this industry and other industries, cars included.

Very many "german" cars are actually made in very many other countries, regardless of the size: the E class Mercedes is usually assemblied in China, Hungary [if I remember well] and other countries, as is the Audi TT, the A6, et all.

It is a curiosity to see as well in some brands the "lens made in Japan, assemblied in Philippines".

Or the Prii production processes.

The alternate phrase "to the manor born" has gained currency after the 1979-81 BBC TV series of that name was aired. The title "To the Manor Born" was a pun on "to the manner born" because the main character in the show was an upper-class country type in England who lived...in a manor and had to leave, because of hard times.

[I usually use "manner," after Shakespeare, but I also usually avoid either one, because it inevitably leads to this same discussion about which one is the more proper. --Mike]

Tack, Hasselblad!

This camera looks interesting and I'm glad to see that Hasselblad is finally coming close to a price level that is more affordable. But frankly, I would be more interested in an affordable digital back for my series V Hasselblad equipment. I wonder if they could make a back with this sensor. It might not be ideal but it would be much more affordable than the 20 to $40,000 offerings that are on the market.

I would hope the body is metal clad, but from the appearance in the photos it looks like it could be plastic. Hopefully this Hassy has brushed aluminum or titanium metal skin, but if plastic, whoa, that's a mighty pricey oversized consumer digicam!

And not to rub salt in a wound, but 100MP would have had me somewhat interested... 50MP image IQ or darn close can now be had for far less cost. My D810 with a superb Zeiss lens will give 50MP MF files a pretty good run for the money. I routinely print and frame 40 inch wide prints from my D810 files, and no one has yet complained the images aren't sharp enough or lacking in color and tonal depth.

I continue to disagree with these notions that made in Sweden means 'real' Hasselblad, anywhere else means it's 'fake' and lesser.

Say Hasselblad designs and specifies a lens in-house and outsources manufacture to Tamron. Outrage, ridicule, not a real Hasselblad?

What about if Sony designs and makes the sensor, various other non-Swedish companies designs and build all the electronics and control systems, some industrial design company in Russia designs and fabricates the metalwork and buttons, and Hasselblad hand 'builds' it all in Sweden. Glory, praise, now that's a real Hasselblad?

Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy and outmoded paradigm?

Finally, here comes the digital Mamiya7!

might be a coincidence but is Sixten Sason any relation to Steve Sasson of Kodak?

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